The Devil's Highway

Available in hardcover, paperback,

for your e-reader, your Kindle,

and as an audiobook, read by Luis

Finalist, 2005 Pulizer Prize finalist in non-fiction

Winner Lannan Literary Award

In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, a place called the Devil's Highway. Fathers and sons, brothers and strangers, entered a desert so harsh and desolate that even the Border Patrol is afraid to travel through it. Twelve came back out.

Now, Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story of this modern odyssey. He takes us back to the small towns and unpaved cities south of the border, where the poor fall prey to dreams of a better life and the sinister promises of smugglers. We meet the men who will decide to make the crossing along the Devil's Highway and, on the other side of the border, the men who are ready to prevent them from reaching their destination. Urrea reveals exactly what happened when the twenty-six headed into the wasteland, and how they were brutally betrayed by the one man they had trusted most. And from that betrayal came the inferno, a descent into a world of cactus spines, labyrinths of sand, mountains shaped like the teeth of a shark, and a screaming sun so intense that even at midnight the temperature only drops to 97 degrees. And yet, the men would not give up. The Devil's Highway is a story of astonishing courage and strength, of an epic battle against circumstance. These twenty-six men would look the Devil in the eyes - and some of them would not blink.


From Luis

About The Devil's Highway

My heavy metal album.

I like it that the gorgeous cover looks like a Pink Floyd record.

Almost won the Pulitzer.

It weighs heavy on my heart.

Almost impossible to discuss it anymore.

The ghosts of the forgotten enter the room sometimes.

The book has made me many friends—some enemies.

Border Patrol agents sometimes give me gifts.

We all want a fair shake.

We all need a witness.

WWJD: Who Would Jesus Deport?

Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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upcoming events

Texas Book Festival
Texas Book Festival Oct 17th Austin, TX

Excited to return to the shindig! Details here.

Austin, TX
Oct 17th
Bakersfield College Cerro Author
Bakersfield College Cerro Author Oct 20th to Oct 21st Bakersfield, CA

Honored to be named the Cerro Author for Bakersfield College and have the opportunity to speak to the students and community there. A couple of different events are scheduled. Details here.

Bakersfield, CA
Oct 20th to Oct 21st
On the Same Page
On the Same Page Oct 21st 6 p.m. Watsonville, CA

This type of event is so close to my heart. Delighted to meet with the students & community of Watsonville. This will be special. Details here.

Watsonville, CA
Oct 21st
6 p.m.
Writers in the Woods
Writers in the Woods Oct 23rd to Oct 24th Incline Village, NV

Talk AND a workshop as part of Sierra Nevada College's Writers in the Woods series. Details here.

Incline Village, NV
Oct 23rd to Oct 24th
Beyond Lolita, A PEN America Writers Event
Beyond Lolita, A PEN America Writers Event Nov 5th Chicago, IL

A benefit for PEN America Emergency Writer's Fund, Beyond Lolita: Literary Writers on Sex and Sexuality. With Audrey Niffenegger & Megan Stielstra. Details to come.

Chicago, IL
Nov 5th